The Handmaid's Tale, 2017–
Signed up the 28/03/2017
The Handmaid's Tale is an original series by Hulu, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. It is a horror/thriller based in a dystopian America, where most women have become infertile. With this urgent fact realised, fertile (read: marked) women around America are taken, against their will, into a designated surbabia (Gilead) where they are groomed to bare children for husbands who have infertile wives. Herein the terrors of a hierachal, self-serving society unfold.
This is a much needed watch. And not just for the women- as some of the narrative online of the series so stubbornly suggest- but for everyone from all corners of life. I especially found the storyline close to home, considering how women in my own country, South Africa, get abducted and enslaved so often that it isn't attended to as epidemic any longer but something that we all must adapt and get used to- as so similarly depicted in the fictional town of Gilead.
This is a story that is both timeless and timely. The Handmaid's Tale doesn't merely seek to entertain, but makes it its purpose to inform- being it of human behaviour, or of the many faces of politics. It doesn't shy away from depicting its various plots in the most brutally honest manner possible either. I mean it; there are gruesome, some sorely uncomfortable, scenes. From rape, to public executions, to daunting beatings and torture.
Even with having watched just the six out the network's planned ten episodes, I am sold for more seasons after this one. There's much ground to cover, and more "tales" to explore from this ghastly dystopian world that the writers have managed to piece together; while the director, as well as the editor(s), so commit to bringing it to life in the most cinematically pleasing manner possible.
I will admit, though, the show is a slow watch. And for those without the patience to piece together a storyline dot-by-plot, it might seem more of a chore to follow. But don't mistake it as dull and unimaginative. Plots are quickly established, reasons are given and no cliff-hanger lingers too long- even when the story seems too quiet and passive-aggressive to ever allow you the excitement for another episode until you're watching it.
Needless to say, The Handmaid's Tale is one of the best series to come out in a long while, and will most definitely raise the bar in terms of storytelling and picture quality with future shows. Hulu sure has nailed its how-to-make-a-successful-series checklist in this quietly terrifying thriller.
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